Fruit of the Vine: About the Kingdom
"If It's Not About the Kingdom, It's Not About Me"
"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear,
preach on the housetops." Matthew: 10:27
One evening, a few weeks ago, I was thinking about
all of the things I want to do and accomplish in the name of the Lord, and suddenly, a revealing but tranquil notion gently
made its way through the center of my sea of thoughts.
Simply put: "If it's not about
the Kingdom, it's not about Me."
Then I, speaking aloud what I had just heard, slowly, in awe,
stated "If it's not about the Kingdom, it's not about You."
Well as one would expect,
I instantly put a melody to the statement I had just heard when it occurred to me to ask myself: What did the Lord mean?
Lord, what are you saying to me? So in my quest for Truth, this is what I've found.
First-What is the Kingdom?
"Kingdom" refers to the "Kingdom of God" or the "Kingdom of Heaven." It is in God's
Kingdom where His rule, His Reign, and His Way are Supreme.
In Luke 17:21 Jesus said "For indeed the Kingdom of God is within you."
Also, in John 18:36 Jesus said:
"My Kingdom is Not of this World"
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14: 17-18
the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, But righteousness
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For he who serves Christ in these things is
acceptable to God and approved by men."
But it doesn't stop there. Paul goes on to say in the next verse:
"Therefore let us pursue
the things by which one may edify another."
Moreover, when Jesus was
teaching us how to pray in Matthew 6:1-13, He offered a KINGDOM prayer:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, Our daily bread."
Taking notice, Jesus prayed for the Kingdom to come and for the Will of the Father to be done, Here On Earth.
Also notice that He did not say, "Give Me this day, My daily bread," but He said "Give Us."
Obviously, In the Kingdom of God, Glorifying God, Edifying, and exhorting another is far most, the Will of the Father.
This was the life of Christ while here on earth, and should be the life of His Body in the earth realm today.
What's Really Goin' On?
Now, I'm pretty sure that in saying "If it's not about the Kingdom, it's not
about Me", the Lord was dealing with the heart of the matter,
my motives. To narrow it down, the Lord was referring to the intentions of my
heart. Since the Kingdom of God is within
me, my heart and the desires therein should characterize that. So
what is, truly, my goal? What actually do I hope to accomplish by some of the things I desire to do
In His Name?
Is it really about God and/or His Kingdom, Righteousness, Peace and Joy
in the Holy Ghost, whereby edification and the like will be brought to another, or is it about me?
Is there any inkling of selfish ambition, even the tiniest notion?
"Now the works of
the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness (sexually unrestrained behavior), idolatry,
sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders,
drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who
practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." -Paul Galatians 5: 19-21
Wow! "Selfish ambition"
is in the same category as envy, jealousies, murder, idolatry, fornication, etc. It's because they're
all Works of the Flesh. Consequently, selfish ambition can definitely be motivated by jealousy and envy. Looking
intently at, and coveting what others have or are doing, could certainly stimulate the works of the flesh.
Another "works of the flesh" motivator is loving this world. But, in I John 2:15 we have been admonished
to "Love not the world, neither the things of the world; For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- is not of the Father.
Since we have been commanded to walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh, we must
question our motives for the things we claim to do for the Lord and/or His Kingdom. Yes, we must have goals and ambitions,
but not selfish ones. We were created for the Glory of God and everything we do must exemplify, and be indicative of
"But the Fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law." "Let
us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-23, 26
Compare what is written here as the "Fruit of the Spirit,"
with what is written as the "Works of the Flesh." Clearly, the "Fruit of the Spirit" lists the temperament
that has everything to do with our relationships with the Lord, and with one another. And the works of the flesh are
clearly "full" of self; and to practice such things, one will Not inherit the Kingdom. So no matter how much
we speak of God and believe we are doing His will, it is not so if the "works of the flesh" are a "way of life"
for us. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21
who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Sadly, it's pretty common in the modern day teaching of the churches to be thoroughly
encouraged and consumed with "gettin' mine." But this is not Kingdom teaching nor living, it is the dangerous,
erroneous doctrine. II Timothy 4:3-4 says:
"For the time will come when men will not put up
with sound doctrine. Instead they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to
hear." "They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
It is perverted
and is totally contrary to the teachings and way of the Father through our Savior Jesus Messiah.
"Don't do anything only to get ahead. Don't do
it because you are proud. Instead be free of pride. Think of others better than yourselves." You should
think the same way Christ Jesus does. In His very nature He was God. But He did not think that being equal with
God was something he should hold on to. Instead, He made Himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant." Philippians 2: 3,5-7a (NIV)
I Like the New King James' version of verse 7 as well:
"But made Himself of no reputation, and
took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."
To Sum It Up
For quite some time now, I've been saying to the Lord in prayer:
"Lord, I give you
everything I think I want to be and do and I Trade it for everything You've planned for me, Your perfect will."
The Lord does hear my prayer so He wanted me to take notice. It's not as if He didn't know and
had just had a light bulb moment. He knows. He Always knows. But He wanted me to know. He wanted me to stop
and take a look at my thoughts, my desires, my motives, and true intentions.
Let's examine ourselves.
If what we desire for God is truly about God, then it's synonymously about His Kingdom. We
must Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all other things, all of the temporal, earthly needs and even
some desires will be given.